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GratisLite surpasses 500 users!

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

AgilX is pleased to announce that its free web-based point-of-sale, GratisLite, has recently surpassed 500 registered users!

GratisLite by Agilx is the easiest free point of sale application to use online. From registration to completing your first sale, you’ll have a full featured FREE point-of-sale in less than two minutes. There’s no paid training, no setup fee’s,  no confusing manuals or contracts.

Go to www.gratislite.com and check it out!

 

POS on a Budget

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27
I was helping a client price hardware the other day for their new shoe store opening in a strip mall. Since this is their first store and they already spent a sizable amount of their budget on merchandise, store build-out, lease, etc.. they wanted a simple to setup cost effective system to track their inventory of shoes and some basic accessories. Of course anyone can go to Dell or HP and buy a $400-500 workstation, $150 LCD, pay $200 for a cash drawer, $250 for a receipt printer, $160 for a bar-code scanner and $60 for USB mag-stripe reader but totaled up that’s still around $1,300. So I went on a mission to find the cheapest option available and we ending up getting a complete setup for ½ that price. Here’s some links and tips for when you’re on a budget, what to avoid when buying cheap and tricks to get more features for less.

The computer:  ($100-$400)

Of course the workstation is the centralized hub that all peripherals will plug into so it’s important to keep in mind that some peripherals need a powered USB hub to operate so you’ll need enough on-board USB ports to plug in the cash drawer, scanner, keyboard, mouse, etc…

Also, you don’t need that latest Core i7 processor from Intel with 8GB of RAM in your workstation, especially if your running a web based POS. A simple 2Ghz AMD processor will be plenty for a dedicated POS terminal. Also, if you plan on using Web based POS you don’t need to worry about hard drive space or this workstation crapping out on you. I’ll speak about cloning a cheap replacement hard drive later.

So instead of heading to your local Best Buy and getting ripped off on a computer, try one of these options:

$100 option
*Buy an (off-lease) computer. You can typically find these on tigertdirect.com or a computer warehouse. The nice thing about these is they all have an OS (probably widows xp) preloaded. A typical Basic Windows OS license is an easy $100 so it’s almost like your getting a free PC!

$400 all-in-one
* I always love a decent all-in-one computer. They look great on your checkout counter, you don’t have to buy a separate monitor and they’re a definite space saver. I’ve worked with the HP 100B All-in-one and for a POS unit they’re fairly durable and priced just right.

 

Monitor: ($100)

I wouldn’t recommend going smaller than 19” just because most software these day’s are Graphic based and designed for at least 1024×768 resolution. You can easily get a 19” from tigerdirect.com or geeks.com shipped for right at $100. Also, I was in Wal-Mart the other day and they had a decent 19” Acer for $79. Although you’re getting a no-frills piece of equipment your making sales with it not playing the latest edition of Crisis.

 

 

 

Cash-Drawer: ($90)

The typical MMF Cash drawer both receipt driven and USB typically run around $170. I found that if you search for the MMF Val-u Line you can save about $100 and the drawers are almost identical to the $170+ drawers. Look for this SKU 2251516442-04 and you should find one for under $90.

 

 

 

 

Receipt Printer: ($220)

Receipt printers are hard to skimp on because if you buy a really cheap piece of crap your going to have customers standing around waiting for a their receipt. However there are to types of Receipt printers out there that are the most common. The Impact Ribbon Printer is the one that prints really slow, has high consumable cost and sounds really annoying. While typically cheaper than a thermal receipt printer it’s not worth that savings to buy one. That brings me to the thermal ribbon receipt printer. These printers are fast, cost less to maintain and are fairly quiet. One of the most common types you see out there are the Epson T88V but with a price tag of $300+ that doesn’t quite fit our POS budget. The Epson T20 Printer is a very similar printer and about ½ the price. Also, The Epson T20 Thermal Receipt printer can be hooked up via USB or Serial and will attached to your cash drawer.

 

Barcode Scanner: ($130)

To be quite honest, I don’t believe in buying the cheapest bar-code scanner you can find unless your ringing in very limited sales. The only scanner I’d ever buy is the Symbol LS-2208 because it has a warranty of at least 1-yr (some times 2) and they’re really good about replacing yours if it stops working suddenly. This scanner is pretty rugged and can take a beating and for about $130 i think it’s a great investment. You could cut cost with a chap $25 scanner from Unitech but their junk so buy right the first time and get the Symbol LS-2208 from Motorolla.

 

 

Mag-stripe Reader: ($25)

Try not to lease credit card terminals from a merchant company. It may seem that you need them but most POS software will allow you to take credit cards with a simple USB Mag-Stripe reader. $25 for a 3 track USB Magnetic Stripe Credit Card Reader Model – MSR90.

Total POS Cost = ($655)

So while it’s tempting to purchase the first complete POS unit you can find, it pays to shop around and save some cash. I hope some of the recommendations in this post have been of use. Shoot us a line if you have any suggestions on budget POS Hardware.

Locking down your point of sale computer with Windows Steady State.

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

Windows Steady State is a nice piece of free software to lock down any basic windows account. You can limit access to drives, programs and features and even websites so your employees spend their time focused on work and less time on Facebook. Another benefit to locking down your workstations is troubleshooting. When something goes wrong with the computer it’s easier to narrow down the source of the problem when you have control of what the users can access.

Here’s a link to Windows Steady State 2.5 from Microsoft’s download site.
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=4310

After downloading and installing Windows Steady State. Go to the control panel in Windows, select Users and create a basic windows account.

Log-in to the basic account you’ve just created so windows can prep the account.

Now log back-in to the Administrator account in windows and launch Windows Steady State.

Under user settings, click on that account.

The main categories in Windows Steady state are to manage things your employees can access on the computer like the hard drives, programs and features. The second category allows you to control access in Internet Explorer like access to specific websites, downloads and access to Internet Explorer settings. And the third gives you access to block programs from running from the restricted account.

So, if you have employees that should only have access to POS software or business related web page and you have bookkeepers that use that computer that need access to their accounting software, try windows steady state to control that access and make sure everyone is using the computer for it’s intended use in the business.

The Future for Point of Sale Hardware

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

Solutions that enable employees and managers to become un-tethered from traditional checkout counters allowing them to spend more time with customers, will be in high demand over the next few years. Tablets and handhelds for managers and associates along with portable inventory terminals are the next peripheral technologies most likely to be purchased by retailers in the next two years.

 

Free Invoicing Software

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

Whether you are self-employed as independent contractor, run a service base company or own a small Brick & Mortar store, Gratis Lite can help you create customer invoices with ease. GratisLite is a basic free point of sale with features such as customer and product creation, invoicing and sales reporting. You also have the option to send an electronic invoice to your customer after tendering a sale. GratisLite works great for all types of business needing a free web based invoicing system. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Get started with GratisLite!

Intuit’s GoPayment Vs. Square

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

The ability to take mobile payments via cell phone is all the craze at the moment. You may have heard Jack Dorsey’s Square credit card reader just got backing from Visa and you may have already seen it in action if you’ve been to an apple store lately. Intuit will also hook you up with a Free credit card reader to use their “GoPayment” platform to accept credit cards wherever you have cell service. Both companies are simple to sign-up with, offer strait-forward rates and give you the card reader absolutely free! So side by side, how do these two payment options match up?

Intuit’s GoPayment (Merchant Service for Mobile)

Low-Volume Plan 

No Monthly Service Fee

Swipe Rate 2.7%

Keyed Rate 3.7%

$0.00 Transaction fee

Free Card Reader

No Monthly Minium

No Setup Fee

 

 

High-Volume Plan

$12.95/Month

Swipe Rate 1.70%

Keyed Rate 2.7%

$0.00 Transaction fee

Free Card Reader

No Monthly Minimum

No Setup Fee

 

 

Square Mobile

Single Price PlanNo Monthly Service Fee

Swipe Rate 2.75%

Keyed Rate 3.5% + .15c per transaction

$0.0 Transaction fee on Swipes

No Monthly Minimum

No Setup Fee

How credit card processing works

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

In it’s most basic form without getting to detailed, here’s what happens when you (the merchant) processes a credit card through your credit card terminal.

1. Merchant process credit card through point of sale unit, stand-alone wired or wireless terminal.

2. Data is transmitted (card info, transaction amount) the the “acquiring” bank.

3. The acquiring bank requests an authorization of funds from the “card-issuing” bank (customer’s bank account).

4. If funds are approved, the acquiring bank processes the transaction and sends approval back to the merchant.

5. The merchant reviews the status of the transaction and sends confirmation to the acquiring bank for deposit.

6. The acquiring bank the requests then receives funds from the card-issuing bank.

7. The acquiring bank then deposits the funds into the merchant’s account.

Free Point of Sale Software

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27
GratisPOS by Agilx is more then just free point of sale software, it’s a complete retail management solution for any type a retail or service related business. Registering for GratisPOS is a snap, just visit GratisPOS.com and sign up to start managing you business in a more professional, efficient way. GratisPOS (free point of sale software) is the best free point of sale software on the web hands down! You can manage nearly every aspect of your business with GratisPOS. GratisPOS (free web based point of sale software) uses Microsoft Silverlight which is capable of delivering a rich user experience over the web. Most free point of sale software on the web are limited in features and their interfaces are well, just plain ugly. GratisPOS is the only free web based point of sale software that looks good, is easy to use and has a dynamic feature set.

What are some things GratisPOS can do for your business?

Accuracy

With a point of sale system, you can assist customers faster with less hassle because there is little to no room for human error. The is no misinterpretation of handwriting, slip-ups on the calculator and in most cases less double entry is required. Just few clicks to checkout is much easier then handwriting receipts.

Training

When you hire a new employee a quality point of sale system can help facilitate store procedures allowing the new employee to become more efficient in a shorter period of time. Back-end reporting can help management ensure the new employee is performing specific day to day operations correctly.

Prevent-loss

Reconciliation is a good idea for any business. Maintaining accurate inventory counts, cash drawers, stock orders, time cards and the like are all concerns for any business seeking a better bottom line. However, sometimes managers, employees and owners wear many hats and certain tasks are often neglected. Fortunately, if your using a great point of sale software or retail management solution (GratisPOS) many of these tasks can be streamlined allowing you to to focus on other area’s of the business that need your direct attention. A quality point of sale software will allow you trust your employees and customers while verifying cash and Inventory is handled correctly.

Control pricing

When selling products or services in your store your sales staff may decide to give discounts to your customers. Although this can effect the customer experience in a positive way it can also effect your bottom line. Using a point of sale software like GratisPOS you can set maximum discounts when pricing your inventory to ensure your sales staff doesn’t sell products under cost causing a loss for your business. Controlled pricing via software can benefit your business in multiple ways. If you decide to drop the price on a particular item for a week then have the price default back to MSRP, it’s much easier to define these parameters in your software then sending a memo by email or telling your employees multiple times throughout the week.

Payroll

Unfortunately every business owner can be taken advantage of by employees coming to work late or having coworkers buddy punch a time card in their absence. Using software to manage your staff’s time cards a shifts can ensure all employees show up on time and can even simplify the payroll process. When using GratisPOS you can instantly see who showed up for work today from any Internet connect device. You can even go as far as seeing what’s in each employees till at any time throughout the work day.

Multiple Payment types

Collecting multiple forms of payment can be a task if you’re not using point of sale software. Collecting Cash, Credit, Debit, Checks, Gift Card, etc. with GratisPOS couldn’t be easier.
Marketing

As customers frequent your store, collect some information about them without hassle. Entering new customer information into GratisPOS allows you to call that customer on their birthday and offer them discounts at your store, send txt messages and emails to customers about discounts at your location and even email coupons to your customers via direct mail. Why not use multiple channels to market to your cusotmers? GratisPOS makes it so easy!

Build on existing revenue

A well designed point of sale software will allow you to control and maintain your current revenue base while maximizing core efforts to increase sales and obtain new customers.

Out of the office

It’s common for store managers or owners to work well over a normal 40hr work week. Why not make technology work harder so you don’t have to? The free point of sale software Gratis allows you to be out of the office while keeping an eye on your business including which employees showed up for work, daily sales, stock levels and much more from any Internet connected device. Try it out today at GratisPOS.com!

Motorola Releases new Barcode/RFID Scanner for POS

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Dec
27

Referred to as ”The Next-Generation Hybrid Presentation Imager” by Motorola, the company has just released the DS9808-R  hybrid barcode/RFID scanner into the market.

According to Motorola, ”The DS9808-R is not only the first combination 1D/2D bar code scanner and RFID reader, it also represents a new RFID product category- the first combination handheld/hands-free UHF RFID tags, the DS9808-R offers the very latest in imaging technology, delivering record swipe speeds for 1D and 2D bar codes, as well as the ability to capture images and signatures.”

GratisLite reaches 400 registered users

Posted Posted by Jake McElroy in Blog     Comments No comments
Nov
28

400 GratisLite user registrations

Agilx is pleased to announce that it’s free point-of-sale, GratisLite, has now reached over 400 user registrations.  We would like to thank each and every user for their part in making GratisLite the great software it has become.

About GratisLite

GratisLite by Agilx is the easiest free point-of-sale to use online. From Registration to completing your first sale, you’ll have a full featured FREE point-of-sale in less than two minutes. There’s no paid training, no setup fee,  no confusing manuals or contracts. With no software to install, no setup time and no hardware requirements what could be better?